Maria Santissima della Stella, Rotondi, Avellino, Campania, Italy
|There are two Madonnas of the Star in Rotondi. The story
goes that loggers from Rotondi found a
wooden statue of the Virgin in the Partenio mountains between Rotondi and
Avella. They brought the statue back to Rotondi, where its hillside shrine
on the outskirts became a focus of devotion. Believing the miracle-working
statue belonged in their territory, people from Avella came to take it.
The shrine's caretaker rang the alarm bell, and citizens came running to
defend their Madonna with sticks, farm tools, and firearms. The thieves
dropped the statue into a ravine, damaging it. Like the old statue itself,
dated to various eras by different authors (800s-1000s, Tirone;
1100s-1300s, Zullo), the attempted theft is of uncertain date (1300,
Montanile; late 1600s, Zullo). What is certain is that, following a
devastating earthquake in 1702, Cardinal Archbishop Orsini, the future
Pope Benedict XIII, consecrated a new sanctuary there on November 5, 1704. Appalled by the condition of the old
statue, the Cardinal gave
the shrine a new image of the Madonna (above right), which arrived August 10, 1705.
This statue remains on the main altar and processes on feast days; the old
one, long exiled to the parish Church of the Annunciation, was restored in
2014 and installed in a case in the Sanctuary of Most Holy Mary of the
Star (below right). All that remains of it is the upper body of the
Madonna, with the child's head perched on her shoulder. The Madonna of the
Star also has two feasts. On Easter morning, a costumed firing of
arquebuses recalls the town's prevention of the theft. The statue is
brought down from the shrine, and two days later, on Tuesday, it tours the
town, returning to the sanctuary on Sunday. The sequence is repeated again
the first Sunday in August, with the processional tour on August 15, feast
of the Assumption, and the return on the Sunday following.
|Domenico Tirone, "Rotondi e il Santuario Maria
SS. della Stella," Istituto Anselmi, Martigliano, 1982, quoted in
|Massimo Zullo, "Rotondi: Il Santuario della
Madonna della Stella," Irpinia ed Irpini Anno 5, no. 5-12,
2011, p. 5, content.yudu.com/Library/A1t218/RivistaquotIrpiniaed/resources/4.htm|
|Nicola Montanile, "AVELLA. L'apparizione della
Madonna e la contesa della statua con Rotondi: accadde nel 1300,"
Apr 20, 2014, www.mandamentonotizie.it/?p=74334|
|Santuario Maria SS. della Stella in Rotondi, www.madonnadellastella.it/pagina2.htm
Also commemorated this date:
|Nossa Senhora da Medalha Milagrosa, Monte Sião, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Drought ended after procession, 1939.|